Hockey at Bedford
Although Hockey at Bedford School was played in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it seemed to disappear in the period just before the First World War. It was not until 1974 that the then Head Master Bill Brown and Tim Machin decided to re-introduce Hockey; this was helped by the appointment of the subsequent Head Master, Ian Jones, former Great Britain international. It was originally phased in from junior level and by 1978 Bedford had a 1st XI side and Hockey was the major sport in the Easter term. In the relatively brief period between 1978 and the present day, Bedford has become a major force in schoolboy Hockey. The school has won through to the national finals in both the indoor and outdoor competitions on numerous occasions and has won the indoor competition five times.
The school has hosted the East Regional Indoor Tournament for the last 3 year's, and we are again starting to compete well in this different format of the game.
Last year, the school joined a Midlands School Hockey League, consisting of 8 schools; Bromsgrove, Oakham, Oundle, Repton, Rugby, Trent, Uppingham. This league has brought about much enthusiasm to the hockey term. There is an individual league for each team at each age and an overall league. Finishing 7th overall last year, the hockey club is looking to build for this year and finish higher in the standings.
Facilities are excellent. The Gordon Field has modern, well-equipped changing rooms and two Astroturf pitches (one of which is floodlit). The School currently runs 13 teams, from 1st X1 to D team level, encouraging all boys to participate in the sport.
The coaching at Bedford School is of a high standard, with many of the academic staff (some of whom have represented England and Wales) contributing alongside professional coaches. The coaching staff is run by a full time Master in charge of the sport whose expertise is used at all levels of the game throughout the school.
Bedford has embarked on many international Hockey tours with Southern Africa being the predominant destination. The tours are designed specifically to provide not only a high level of Hockey but also a range of educational and cultural experiences. The next major international tour will be in 2015.
There have been many Bedfordians who have gone on to represent their County, Region and Country and the school actively encourages and assists all boys to reach the limits of their potential in the sport.
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